How much is a massage worth? Someone whose life has been dramatically changed from receiving massage will probably respond differently than someone who gets a massage once a year as a birthday gift. Some people would consider the skill and experience of the therapist before determining what they would pay, while others might say it’s the average cost of massage in the their area. Regardless of the answer, the truth is the consumer determines the value of any product or service, which is why I kept my clients in mind when I decided to raise my prices.
I chose to charge more simply because I need more income to reach my financial goals. Lower fees may have attracted more clients initially, but that level of revenue isn’t sustainable. I feel earning more is justified because I’m now an experienced Ashiatsu provider with additional training who provides a unique, customized service. I also believe the time has come in the evolution of my practice to weed out clients who are only booking because of my pricing, not because it’s the best massage for them.
Ultimately, my clients will decide if they’re willing to pay what I’m charging, so I wanted to make the increase acceptable to as many of them as possible. Since most of my clients don’t have unlimited resources, I considered how much of an increase I could easily work into my budget if I were a client receiving what I wanted. I also thought through options for current clients who want to continue coming to me but would struggle with any rise in cost.
I chose March as the target month to begin my new pricing because it’s between Christmas and tax day (I figured any holiday debt would be normalized by now and tax refunds would be coming in). I decided on an increase of $10 across the board for single sessions and a 25% discount for 3-packs (click here to see my new fees). I had been offering a slightly larger discount for longer session packages and wanted to make the savings percentage consistent for everyone.
I sent an email to each active client in early February informing them of my price changes and thanking them for their business. As they came in throughout the month, I asked them if they had received the email and if they had any questions or concerns. Only one client said she would be coming in less frequently. Another client had some budgetary concerns, so we’re transitioning her from single sessions to a 3-pack with an installment plan.
Raising prices is a scary choice to make. In the end, I had to do what allows me to continue providing my clients with something that improves their lives. By considering their financial needs and letting go of the fear of losing them, I’m free to keep growing the practice that I love!
How do you feel about price increases as a provider or a customer? Please share your thoughts in the comments. Thank you!